Conor Washington scored twice after Ben Purrington’s early opener as the Addicks made it six wins in a row in a thrilling 3-2 victory at home to an experienced Fleetwood Town.
Two goals in two minutes from Ched Evans, to level the scores at 2-2, gave the Addicks a scare and ended Charlton’s run without conceding, which had lasted more than nine hours. However, after Washington’s goal in the 50th minute, to put Charlton back in front, Lee Bowyer’s team were able to see the game out, despite large spells of possession for the visitors.
Bowyer made four changes from the side that beat Portsmouth, reverting back to the 4-4-2 that he used in last week’s 2-0 win at The Valley against Oxford United.
The Addicks started the brighter and Purrington did well to win a free kick on the Charlton left wing. Andrew Shinnie’s first two set pieces were cleared behind for corners and it was third time lucky, as his in-swinging corner was met by the head of Purrington to give the Addicks a fourth minute lead.
Charlton kept creating chances, with a Chris Gunter cross from the byline desperately palmed away before Omar Bogle curled wide from a clever Ian Maatsen pass.
Purrington volleyed just over after getting on the end of a Ben Watson flick on from another Shinnie corner and Fleetwood had their first look at goal when Callum Connolly headed over in the 23rd minute.
Washington then set up a Watson side-footed effort that went just wide and Bogle laid on for Maatsen whose whipped left-footed effort didn’t trouble Jayson Leutwiler in the Fleetwood goal.
Referee Sam Purkiss turned down a Bogle penalty appeal and the striker headed over from the resulting corner in an action-packed opening half hour.
It was 2-0 in the 31st minute when some Albie Morgan pressure allowed Gunter to intercept and feed the dangerous Bogle. The striker’s powerful left-footed effort from the edge of the area was too hot to handle for Leutwiler and Washington was on hand to stab home the rebound for his fourth goal of the season.
The Cod Army struck back instantly, ending the long run the Addicks had gone without conceding. Evans got on the end of a long ball and hit home before adding his second, to level the scores, just a minute later with Charlton appealing for a foul on the striker.
The Addicks started the second half well and took the lead again when referee Purkiss correctly adjudged that Morgan had been fouled in the box, after the academy graduate had played a neat one-two with Washington. The striker stepped up confidently to take the penalty and although Leutwiler guessed the correct way, he got nowhere near Washington’s well-struck spot kick.
Washington nearly had his hat-trick in the 59th minute but Bogle’s cross was just too high for the Addicks striker.
Ben Amos did well to deny Evans a hat-trick, tipping his 67th minute header over the bar and behind for a corner after a spell of pressure from the visitors.
After a lovely passing move from Charlton, Washington smashed just wide from the edge of the area while at the other end Amos was down sharply to deny substitute Callum Camps.
Leutwiler was called into action when he had to smother from Bogle after the Addicks won the ball back high up the pitch following some clever pressing.
Substitute Chuks Aneke struck the post with a wonderful left-footed effort in the 80th minute as Bowyer’s team showed no sign of letting up.
The Addicks were able to see the game out for another three points, making it six wins in a row in the process.
Charlton: Amos; Gunter, Pratley (C), Inniss, Purrington; Watson, Morgan (Matthews 72), Maatsen, Shinnie; Washington, Bogle (Aneke 76)
Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Williams, Maddison, Levitt, Smythe
Goals: Purrington 4, Washington 31, 50 (pen)
Booked: Maatsen 86 (foul on Burns)
Fleetwood Town: Leutwiler, Edwards, Andrew, Connolly, Whelan (Camps 72), Burns, Duffy (Finley 78), Evans, Mulgrew, Coutts (C), McKay (Madden 55)
Subs (not used): Cairns, Morris, Saunders, Holgate
Goals: Evans 33, 34
Booked: Edwards 90+3 (push on Maatsen)
Referee: S Purkiss
Attendance: 0 (Behind-closed-doors)